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Author(s): Wróbel, Karolina
Abstract: Over the past three decades, a renewed interest in Jewish heritage in Poland has emerged. This phenomenon has its origins in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has since developed into a recognizable trend often described as the "Jewish revival" or "Jewish renaissance." The annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow is the most prominent manifestation of this movement. Every summer, Krakow is turned into a stage by performances of Klezmer music, theatre and art exhibits dealing with Jewish culture. Workshops on Jewish traditions intend to educate the participants about the century-long presence of Jewish life in Poland and Polish-Jewish co-existence. Despite its popularity in Poland, the Festival has met with criticism and skepticism internationally. The most vocal critics are members of Jewish communities across North America and Western Europe, who accuse Poles of misappropriating and misrepresenting Jewish culture. Many commentators point to the antagonistic nature of Polish-Jewish relations suggesting a lack of historical sensitivity on the part of the Poles and question the motivation and sincerity of the Jewish culture revival. This point of tension reflects the existence of two opposing narratives which have come to dominate Polish and American/Western European historical discourse respectively. This dissertation aims to dissect the root and explain the cause of these competing perspectives. To achieve this goal, this study investigates the renaissance of Jewish culture through the lens of the annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow. In reference to Pierre Nora's concept of the lieu de memoire, it examines the value of the Festival as a site of memory and analyzes performance in relation to the specific space and time in which it occurs. More specifically, it contests the nature, popularity and educational value of the Festival within the discussion of cultural ownership.
Date: 1994
Abstract: With the rise of ultranationalist organizations throughout Europe, the issue of attitudes and orientations held toward designated "out-groups" has become a critical concern of anxious observers. In Russia the strength registered by Vladimir Zhirinovskii's ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party during the parliamentary elections of 1993 has been interpreted as a sign of intolerance among the Russian populace. In fact, the success of candidates associated with the Liberal Democratic Party was not only based upon appeals to strengthen the Russian nation against perceived enemies, but also upon promises of a return to price stability and upon Zhirinovskii's anti-establishment, populist program. Nonetheless, Zhirinovskii's success in the 1991 presidential elections (he attracted 7.8% of the electorate) does serve to reaffirm the importance of tracking how attitudes toward groups that have often been targeted as scapegoats in times of social or economic upheaval have evolved in the late Soviet and immediate post-Soviet period. Two major questions concern us here: first, how pervasive among Russians and Ukrainians are perceptions of significant "social distance" between themselves and designated out-groups, most notably the Jewish population; and second, to what extent do these perceptions of distance form part of a cohesive ideology of ultranationalism? Understanding the basis of sentiments toward Jewish populations is particularly important for interpreting the workings of the complex mosaic of the post-Soviet political culture.
Author(s): Pignatelli, Marina
Date: 2020
Abstract: Jews who remained or returned to Portugal after the Expulsion (1496) and Inquisition (1536–1821) adopted and preserved different strategies to resist total assimilation, forced conversion and antisemitism. Today, Jewish communities are small and shy. At the same time, however, many Portuguese insist on an identification with a Jewish matrix. In parallel, there is an unprecedented effort to revitalize Jewish cultural memory in the public and private spheres. This article critically discusses the broad notion of Jewish identity and its representations in present day Portugal. It gives a succinct account of its existing Jewish communities, their power interrelationships and the categorizations used to label who is identified as a Jew. The article examines the making of cultural Jewish heritage and its paradoxes, considering the variety of agents involved and their agendas. While it will be argued that Jewish identity is certainly multidimensional, there are, at the same time, several contemporary native Jewish tangible and intangible cultural traces that are being neglected in the systematization process of Jewish memory and traditions in Portugal. Given the homogenizing tendencies of globalization and the particularizing local reactions to such trends, the present article describes and reflects on how the Jewish past in Portugal is intertwined with the present, and how the plural ways of perceiving Jewish identity and its cultural manifestations can be understood in a glocal frame, in terms of both discursive and material Jewish traditions. Based on a qualitative approach and a collaborative ethnographic method, the article analyzes how the Portuguese matrix of Jewish culture remains part of the Sepharad imaginary while it is subjected to the constraints of time and space.
Author(s): Baugut, Philip
Date: 2021
Abstract: Rund 75 Jahre nach dem Holocaust verzeichnet die Polizei einen An-stieg antisemitischer Straftaten in Deutschland; als bedrohte Minderheit sorgen sich jüdi-sche Menschen um das gesellschaftliche Meinungsklima, das auch die etablierten Massen-medien prägen. Vor diesem Hintergrund untersucht der vorliegende Beitrag mit Hilfe des normativen Konzepts der „interkulturellen medialen Integration“ die medienjournalisti-sche Berichterstattung der Wochenzeitung Jüdische Allgemeine. Die Befunde der qualitati-ven Inhaltsanalyse von 168 Beiträgen zeigen, dass die vom Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland herausgegebene Publikation in verschiedener Hinsicht heftige Kritik an etab-lierten Medien übt. So hätten einzelne Medien antisemitische Stereotype verbreitet, Perso-nen, die sich antisemitisch äußern, eine Plattform geboten und Antisemitismus als solchen nicht erkannt, relativiert oder negiert. Im Sinne einer differenzierten Medienkritik macht die Jüdische Allgemeine aber auch deutlich, welche Merkmale von Medieninhalten sie für wünschenswert hält, darunter Berichte über alltägliches jüdisches Leben in Deutschland, aber auch authentische Beiträge über Antisemitismus, in denen Betroffene zu Wort kom-men. Die Befunde können zum einen verstehen helfen, warum viele Jüd*innen in Europa Antisemitismus in den Medien als Problem sehen. Zum anderen liefern sie Produzierenden von Medienangeboten Hinweise darauf, welche Resonanz ihre Inhalte innerhalb der jüdi-schen Gemeinschaft finden.
Date: 2016
Date: 2020
Date: 2018
Abstract: The fight against antisemitism through the means of education should begin from as early an age as possible. Various informal, educational projects exist that work towards this goal, using a number of different methods. However, these projects often operate separately and on an ad hoc basis in educational institutions, hence they lack an overarching concept or idea for the students. This makes the projects less efficient, and their short and long term impact becomes more difficult to evaluate. Generally speaking, Jewish history and religion are not part of the national curriculum in secondary schools. In the rare cases when aspects of Judaism are taught, the main focus is on the Holocaust, which often has a negative and counterproductive effect. For this reason, the main objective of the New World project was to educate students on topics such as Hungary’s role in the Holocaust (which is still not fully accepted by Hungarian society), prejudices, radicalisation and Jewish identity.

With the professional leadership and support of the Tom Lantos Institute, a complex educational project was realised. Its components build on each other, following a single line of thought: it incorporates the performance of the play New World, a subsequent drama-based pedagogical session and finally, 2-3 weeks later, an informal educational class led by the Haver Foundation. Each step of the programme was evaluated using a variety of methods such as mini-interviews, participants’ reports and questionnaires. Following a short literature review, this report intends to give a summary of the concept, structure, conclusions and results of the project. The report is dedicated to participants and leaders of similar initiatives, as well as to a wider audience of individuals interested in the topic.
Author(s): Birnbaum, Pierre
Date: 2000
Author(s): Burke, Shani
Date: 2018
Author(s): Topolski, Anya
Date: 2020
Abstract: In this contribution, Topolski argues that the erasure and denial of Europe’s race–religion constellation can help us understand how it has been possible to resurrect the divisive, exclusionary and problematic myth of a ‘Judaeo-Christian’ tradition in Europe. While this term can be, and has been, used in diverse and contradictory ways in the past few decades, Topolski is most interested in how it masks Islamophobia. To do this, she turns to Europe’s denied race–religion constellation. She contends that we cannot understand European racism, past or present, without making the race–religion constellation visible, and that its invisibility today is not accidental. Next, Topolski wants to show how the current resurrection of the term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ serves to mask and conceal the race–religion constellation. The focus is thus on the exclusion of religions that have not assimilated to the accepted secularized norms of white Christianity, particularly its Aryan/Protestant form, and how this exclusion is connected to the race–religion constellation. In the final part, Topolski explains how the latter might serve the collapsing European project, as well as struggling nation-states, as a scapegoat mechanism to blame Europe’s Others for problems Europe has itself created. This leads to their further exclusion and a lack of tolerance in terms of practice and rituals (which might be connected). For these reasons, Topolski argues we need to reject the use of the term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ and make visible the hidden race–religion constellation.
Author(s): Jansen, Yolande
Date: 2020
Author(s): Sherwood, Yvonne
Date: 2020
Date: 2019
Abstract: Aim. This paper analyses the inherent paradoxes of Jewish-Polish relations. It portrays the main beliefs that construct the contradicting narratives of the Holocaust, trying to weigh which of them is closer to the historic truth. It seeks for an answer to the question whether the Polish people were brothers-in-fate, victimized like the Jews by the Nazis, or if they were rather a hostile ethnic group.

Concept. First, the notion of Poland as a haven for Jews throughout history is conveyed. This historical review shows that the Polish people as a nation have always been most tolerant towards the Jews and that anti-Semitism has existed only on the margins of society. Next, the opposite account is brought, relying on literature that shows that one thousand years of Jewish residence in Poland were also a thousand years of constant friction, with continuous hatred towards the Jews. Consequently, different accounts of World War II are presented – one shows how the Polish people were the victims, and the others deal with Poles as by-standers and as perpetrators.

Results and conclusion. Inconsistency remains the strongest consistency of the relations between Jews and Poles. With the unresolved puzzle of whether the Polish people were victims, bystanders or perpetrators, this paper concludes with some comments on Israeli domestic political and educational attitudes towards Poland, that eventually influence collective concepts.

Cognitive value. The fact that the issue of the Israeli-Polish relationship has not been deeply inquired, seems to attest to the reluctance of both sides to deal with what seems to form an open wound. At the same time, the revival of Jewish culture in Poland shows that, today more than ever, the Polish people are reaching out to Israelis, and are willing to deal with history at an unprecedented level. As Israelis who wish to promote universal values, a significant encounter with the Polish people may constitute a door to acceptance and understanding of others. Such acceptance can only stem from mutual discourse and physical proximity between the two peoples.
Date: 2015
Date: 2015
Date: 2002
Abstract: The article presents the results of surveys done on anti-Semitism in Poland in 1992, which in part were compared to results from a 1996 survey. The group, under the author's direction researched anti-Semitism in the context of Poles' attitudes towards other nations, as well as in terms of their own national identity. Two types of anti-Semitic attitudes were observed: traditional, religiously grounded anti-Semitism, and anti-Semitism rooted in anti-Semitic political ideology, of the type that has developed since in the French Revolution. Traditional anti-Semitism occurs only among older people who are not well educated and live in rural areas; increased education results in the disappearance of this type of anti-Semitism. Modern anti-Semitism, on the other hand occurs among both the lowest and most highly educated groups in society. Moreover, from 1992 to 1996, the percentage of the respondents declaring anti-Semitic views increased. At the same time, however, there was also a larger increase in the number of respondents declaring anti-anti-Semitic views, which has meant that there has been a clear polarization of attitudes. Having a university education makes a person more likely to be ill-disposed toward anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, the attitude of Poles toward Jews cannot be described simply on the basis of anti-Semitic attitudes. The researchers noted that there was also an attitude of "not liking Jews", which was less engaged than the anti-Semitic views, and to a large extent a result of the content comprising Polish national identity. The model of Polishness assumes a Romantic-Messianic image of the Polish nation. According to this model, Poles see themselves as being distinguished by their noble fulfillment of obligations, even when it is to their own detriment, particularly with respect to symbolic Jews and Germans. Researchers also assumed that there was a particular kind of competition between Poles and Jews with respect to the moral superiority of their respective nations. The results from 1992 in part confirmed this hypothesis.